Everyone remotely interested in exploiting Web data for geographic analysis, in the information society, or who just likes to listen to a very interesting (as well as very funny) speaker should not miss this opportunity
Every day, billions of Internet users rely on search engines to find information about places to make decisions about tourism, shopping, and countless other activities. In an opaque process, search engines assemble digital content produced in a variety of locations around the world and make it available to large cohorts of consumers. Although these representations of place are increasingly important and consequential, little is known about their characteristics and possible biases. Crucial questions include: To what degree is online information either locally or remotely produced and diverse? Which countries are producing their own representations and which are represented by others? Through empirical investigations, it is possible to identify the factors that contribute to shaping this uneven digital geography, supporting efforts to curb the digital divide, promoting a more inclusive, democratic information society.
Andrea Ballatore is a Lecturer in GIS and Big Data Analytics at the Department of Geography at Birkbeck, University of London. His research interests include volunteered geographic information, Internet geography, geographic information retrieval, as well as media studies. His current work focuses on how digital geographic information is produced and consumed online through crowdsourcing platforms and search engines.